By Stuart Muir Wilson October 1, 2021
Find out how you could turn your household waste into renewable energy with a biogas digester.
There is a simple way to make your own renewable energy at home and use it for cooking, heating and lighting.
It’s called biogas, and the concept is – add your kitchen scraps or animal manures to a large tank called a “digester” and the anaerobic bacteria that live in the tank will breakdown or “digest” these wastes and convert them to methane gas.
The gas is stored in a bag and can flow straight into your gas cooker in your kitchen, or your outdoor BBQ. The bacteria in the tank need to be fed every day and will not only produce biogas, but also a liquid fertiliser for your garden, and a solid material which is great for growing mushrooms on.
Many people around the world are making their own biogas at home, including millions of people in developing countries.
To become part of this off-the-grid power movement you can make your own DIY unit for very little cost, or buy a ready-made unit that can be used in any city-suburban backyard.
Homemade biogas has immense potential to improve the ecological, ethical, economic and carbon footprint of homes and neighbourhoods throughout Australia, turning existing household and garden waste into heating, electricity and natural biogas.
We can think of biogas in permaculture terms of one element (waste) performing many functions (biogas, fertiliser and greenhouse gas carbon sequestration).
How a biogas system can benefit your home and the environment
- Reduce or eliminate gas power bills. Provide peak load (on demand) high volume electricity.
- Take greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and into living soils. Increase microbiology and mycelium (mushroom) activity in the soil.
- Increase soil living carbon chains.
- Eliminate fossil fuel dependency from coal seam gas (fracking and oil extraction).
- Reduce rainforest deforestation for oil and ‘natural’ gas extraction.
So how do you actually make your own home biogas digester?
In Issue #12 of Pip Magazine, we reveal everything you need to know about making your own biogas digester, including:
- How to get your home biogas digester started.
- What kind of yield you can expect to generate from your home biogas digester.
- How to utilise the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair share when it comes to small-scale biogas systems.
- Troubleshooting tips.
Stuart Muir Wilson is the founding director of Bullock Proof Energy.